| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JANUARY 4, 2002
TDD: (202) 514-1888
CHARLES A. JAMES ANNOUNCES MODERNIZATION OF THE ANTITRUST DIVISION
Changes Intended to Re-Deploy Resources to More Effectively Respond to the Emergence of New Industries and Challenges in Complex Business Environment
WASHINGTON, D.C. Assistant Attorney General Charles A. James today announced a modernization of the Antitrust Division that creates a structure to address new industries, network competition, and other emerging trends in the economy. The purpose of this effort is to deploy Division resources in a manner that responds to an increasingly complex business environment by redefining areas of responsibility and streamlining reporting lines, in order to improve the overall efficiency of the Division. It also transforms certain task forces into full-fledged sections.
Currently, multiple sections tend to share enforcement responsibilities for certain commodities. The modernization plan is designed to concentrate investigatory and enforcement expertise and resources for commodities within a particular section, and minimize the dispersion of enforcement efforts across sections. This effort also assigns to each section enforcement responsibility for both civil merger and non-merger matters. This reflects the actual practice of most sections, which although nominally assigned responsibility for either civil merger or non-merger investigations, have for some time handled both types of matters.
The modernization effort also recognizes the emergence and future importance of certain areas of the economy--including information technology, telecommunications and industries characterized by network competition--and the need for concentrated, focused expertise in these industries. This plan will improve the Division's ability to effectively marshal and deploy its resources and expertise in investigating and enforcing the antitrust laws in these as well as all other areas.
"The modernization is good government," said Assistant Attorney General Charles A. James. "It positions the Antitrust Division to address the challenges of the New Economy in the 21st Century while strengthening enforcement capability in traditional industries."
While the restructuring effort in large measure confirms the Division's present structure, it will result in some significant organizational and programmatic changes. Elements of the plan include the following:
"The modernization effort announced today affords us the opportunity to clarify areas of responsibility, sharpen lines of reporting, increase accountability and ultimately improve efficiency and productivity in carrying out the Division's mission," said James.
Both the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees have authorized this modernization effort, which, consistent with Department of Justice policy, required Office of Management and Budget and Congressional notification prior to implementation.
The Division expects that the reorganization will be fully implemented in February 2002. A copy of the Division's new organization chart will be available on the Division's web site at www.usdoj.gov/atr